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West Liberty Spends Weekend Clearing Flood Damage

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WEST LIBERTY, Iowa - Tom Roberts spent Saturday getting rid of his flood damaged furniture.

"I'm old enough I shouldn't be doing this," Roberts said while yanking the couch from the flatbed of his truck.

Last week's flood waters left two inches in his basement. Roberts said he has seen worse, though.

"That ain't nothing. I had ten inches back in '08 and 2010. This ain't nothing in this town. It floods all the time," Roberts said.

Officials estimate about 350 West Liberty homes were damaged by the latest round of high water. Repair costs are reaching into the thousands of dollars for many. The blame is too much rain falling on already saturated soil.

Homeowner Mary Larson cried when she saw what water did to her home.

"Oh there were a few tears. Just a few," Larson said.

She's left with a pile of what used to be the walls of her basement. Larson estimates damage is around $10,000, all from just a couple inches.

"Once it reaches the drywall and the paneling, it just becomes a thousand square feet of sponge," said Larson.

The city is chipping in to help with the cleanup. Saturday, officials had large dumpsters available for debris at the Dutton Sports Complex.

They were filling fast. People were literally throwing away tons of stuff, everything from furniture, insulation, to electronics.

For those who couldn't take out the trash, the city arranged for crews to swing by front lawns and do a pickup service.

"There's couches, lumber, TV's, computer sets typewriters, just trash," Juan Meriz, who was contracted to help with cleanup, said.

"This is a huge advantage. I'm sure I speak for everyone in the community to say what a great, great thing this has been for us," said Larson.

The city kept the cleanup going, Sunday. Volunteers and hired crews were out from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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